Boston University London Programmes has held a CLA Licence for some time, and in August of 2016, the previous Librarian made the decision to migrate from the old reporting system to the new Digital Content Store. When I joined Boston University London Programme's Library as the Librarian during January of 2017, I was very excited to have a chance to be a part of an institution that had progressed to this step on their CLA journey, as I had not had prior experience using the DCS. Having formerly been heavily involved in the reporting process for the CLA whilst working at other universities, this was the first time I would be the CLA licence holder for an independent institution.
The Library staff had assured me when I joined the team in January that the DCS was already starting to make a positive difference in terms of their workflow, though it had only been in use for a few months by that point. Over the past 9 months and two semesters I have been in post as the Librarian at Boston University, I have been able to witness first hand just how much more efficient the DCS has helped make the reading list content upload process run for both Library staff, students and Faculty. The provision of reading list content is a major part of what the Library Service provides at BU London Programmes so using the DCS has been an exciting step forward.
One major advantage of having access to the DCS database is that as it has grown, we as a small institution have been able to access high quality scans uploaded by other institutions. This has vastly decreased the demands for storage space on our VLE, Blackboard. It has also allowed us to carry on providing a large amount of high quality content to our students.
Though we are a small independent institution, most of our Faculty rely heavily on digitised readings posted on the VLE for their students. By utilising the clone course content feature, this has allowed for Library staff to update repeating courses' readings with new links on their respective Blackboard course pages, with the security of knowing that our uploaded content falls under CLA permissions.
Our previous method, which included laboriously updating individual readings' cover pages, using the CLA Licence Check Permissions tool, and updating the reporting spreadsheet, was thorough and effective but more time consuming. As a small, independent institution, the valuable time saved by using the DCS has made a large difference to the distribution of the Library staff workload.
As a whole, the migration to the DCS has had a major positive impact on one of the major services the Library at Boston University London Programmes provides. It has allowed us to be able to provide a higher quality service to students and Faculty, while allowing us to reduce our workload. I am looking forward to further developments to the Digital Content Store, such as the Academic Request Form, to see if this will have a similarly positive effect on the Library Service.
About the Author
Morgan Bailas-Ferry received her MSc in Library Science from City, University of London in 2013. She is the current Librarian at Boston University London Programmes. She has previously worked for Richmond the American International University in London and the Royal College of Art.